The Lanesborough

London, United Kingdom | C.1719

Photo Credit: Maria Marie

Grand Victorian buildings & verdant garden squares make up the affluent neighborhood of Knightsbridge in central London. Included among these stately structures is The Lanesborough, a five-star luxury hotel situated on Hyde Park Corner that’s heralded for its opulent interiors.

Originally built in 1719, the hotel was first the estate of James Lane, the last Viscount Lanesborough. Within two decades, the home had been transformed into St. George’s Hospital, but it’s time as a refuge for the ill did not last long. By 1825, the building had fallen into neglect and architect William Wilkins was commissioned to redesign the building. Within two years, new construction began.

In his design, Wilkins implemented classical Greek Revival styles which were landmarks of England’s Regency period — a time of great elegance in art and architecture within the country. The building became a hospital once again and operated until the 1970s. When the hospital was transferred to south London, the space remained vacant until the Duke of Wellington purchased the property for £6,000.

In 1988, the property was transformed into the Lanesborough Hotel. A selected group of architects, designers, and artisans teamed up with historical preservation organizations to preserve much of Wilkins’ original architectural elements. The designers transformed the interiors and added 93 rooms and suites, and a conservatory restaurant now known as the Celeste.

The Lanesborough officially opened to the public in 1991. Artists, actors, musicians, and dignitaries have all graced the embellished halls of the hotel, lending to its status as a cultural destination. Revered for its unparalleled hospitality, the Lanesborough remains a refined example of English elegance and echoes to its early days as a royal estate.

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